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CDC: HPV-Associated Cancer Study

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Monday, November 03, 2008 10:30 PM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: FDA and Prescription Drugs, Women's Health, HPV, Cervical Cancer, Human Papillomavirus, HPV, Gardasil, Dangerous Drugs, Merck,


IMAGE SOURCE:© Wikimedia Commons / low grade cervical changes with HPV effect / author: Dr. Ed Uthman

Human papillomavirus, or HPV, caused 25,000 cases of cancer a year in the U.S. between 1998 and 2003, according to studies conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Based on study findings, researchers suggest a wide need for screening of both men and women for HPV.

The study, “Assessing the Burden of Human Papillomavirus (HPV)-Associated Cancers in the United States (ABHACUS),” will be published in the November 15 issue of the journal Cancer.

There are over 100 types of HPV viruses and not all of them cause health problems. Some types of HPV may cause problems like genital warts, cervical cancer or cancer of the vagina or vulva.

HPV types 16 and 18 cause about 70% of cervical cancers.

The viruses are transmitted sexually and by skin-to-skin contact and can also cause anal cancer and penile cancer, as well as cancers of the mouth and throat.

The Gardasil vaccine is approved to prevent genital warts and cervical cancers caused by HPV in girls and young women. The FDA approved Gardasil for patient use in 2006. The Gardasil vaccine is manufactured by Merck & Co.

“These estimates of HPV-associated cancers were collected prior to the development of the HPV vaccine. This allows us a base to measure the impact of HPV vaccine and cervical cancer screening in reducing the cases of cervical cancer and other HPV-associated cancers and pre-cancers,” the CDC’s Mona Saraiya, lead author, said in a statement.

Dr. Maura Gillison, M.D., Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins University, who has studied the link between oral cancers and HPV, said the findings suggest wider use of the cervical cancer vaccine may be justified.

“HPV vaccines have the potential to reduce the rates of HPV-associated cancers, including anal and oral cancers, that are on the rise and for which there is currently no effective or widely applied screening process, Gillison said in a statement.

Other Study Findings Include

More than 11,700 new cases of cervical cancer are expected to be diagnosed in 2008, of which 3,800 will result in death.

Cervical cancer is more prevalent in areas where regular HIV tests and Pap smears are limited. An estimated 500,000 women are globally diagnosed with cervical cancer and 300,000 will die of it.

Nearly 7,400 cancers of the mouth and throat were associated with HPV – about 5,700 among men and 1,700 among women.

There were 3,000 or more cases of HPV-associated anal cancers per year – approximately 1,900 in women and 1,100 in men.

The most common sites for HPV-associated cancers were the anus, cervix, head and neck, vulva, penis and vagina.

HPV-associated cancers occur most often in the cervix – an estimated 10,800 per year. Black and Hispanic women had higher rates of cervical cancer than white and non-Hispanic women.

The HPV vaccine is currently being tested in men. “Should it be found effective, we can potentially lower the amount of infections contracted by men,” in turn lowering the risk of cancer in their sexual partners, said Dr. Anna R. Giuliano of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Florida. #

1 Comment

Anonymous User
Posted by Delta
Tuesday, November 04, 2008 1:48 PM EST

Can I get my son vaccinated now? I know he's sexually active.

Comments for this article are closed.

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